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Vivaldi: L'Olimpiade / Alessandrini, Mingardo, Invernizzi

Album Summary

>Vivaldi, Antonio : L'Olimpiade, opera in 3 acts, RV 725
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"Rinaldo Alessandrini has already proved himself a stylish and persuasive Vivaldian and here his blend of scholarship with a feeling for the music's poetry results in a convincing account of an opera which hastwice in the past been misunderstood and dramatically underpowered in commercial recordings." ***** - Nicholas Anderson, BBC

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
More than 50 composers set Pietro Metastasio's libretto L'Olimpiade between 1733 and 1815, starting with Caldara and including along the way such names as Pergolesi, Galuppi, Cimarosa, Cherubini and Paisiello. The booklet note for this new recording suggests that Vivaldi was trying to take on the newly fashionable Neapolitan composers at their own game, not only by setting a poem by their favourite librettist, but also by adopting some of their musical mannerisms.

Maybe so, but there can be few composers with a more deeply ingrained personal style than our friend the Red Priest, and it's an unmistakably Vivaldian flavour which is the strongest in this thoroughly agreeable work.

Despite the public context - the story is played out against the backdrop of the Olympic Games - this is a drama which focuses on the personal predicaments of the principal characters, each of whom faces an interesting conflict between head and heart somewhere along the line. This is more apparent from Metastasio's words than from Vivaldi's music, to be honest, but that isn't to say that the composer has been unresponsive.

The most effective and intimate moments occur in the recitatives, which are fluidly conversational and full of realistic interruptions, questions and exclamations, all of which Vivaldi handles with considerable dramatic skill. Rinaldo Alessandrini's direction is typically unfussy and to the point, ever alert to the music's dramatic intent but without imposing himself on it unduly. The finest vocal performances come from Sara Mingardo, Roberta Invernizzi and Sonia Prina, but in truth no one is a weak link. The recitatives are effectively done, the arias thrown off with dash and aplomb, and everyone sounds as if they believe in the work.


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Works Details

>Vivaldi, Antonio : L'Olimpiade, opera in 3 acts, RV 725
  • Performers: Sergio Foresti (Bass); Laura Giordano (Soprano); Roberta Invernizzi (Soprano); Marianna Kulikova (Mezzo Soprano); Riccardo Novaro (Baritone)
  • Conductor: Rinaldo Alessandrini
  • Ensemble: Concerto Italiano
  • Running Time: 1 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 02/17/1734